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Identification of scientific contents in the daily life

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - LifeisScience (Identification of scientific contents in the daily life)

Reporting period: 2020-06-01 to 2020-12-31

"“Life is Science” took place on 27th November 2020 in the frame of the European Researchers Night (MSCA-NIGHT). The objective of the project was to offer a broad spectrum of activities that are entertaining and educating to young adults and the general public.
The event was originally planned as an open event with 3 locations, where visitors experience what is happening behind the scenes of a research laboratory. The COVID-19 pandemic changed this plan significantly and the concept was totally re-structured from three event venues to a 100% virtual event. However, the message that we wanted to convey kept the same: with “Life is Science” we wanted to show where science meets our daily life. We offered activities in 3 main topics: health, food technology and renewable resources. The program was structured in a 13-hours lasting live program (sessions broadcasted in a live stream) and pre-recorded explanatory videos, virtual lab tours and games.
Despite the necessity of physical distance, the project ""Life is Science"" was eager to offer possibilities to engage and to interact: a couple of video tutorials for experiments at home have been produced, and live-sessions encouraged participants to fill surveys ( to discuss and to ask questions. Topics like ""Meat from the Lab"", ""What does society really know about viruses"", ""The principle of vaccination"", ""Nanotechnology"", ""Bioeconomy now - an escape game on tour"" etc. have been part of the live-program. About 1,400 participants attended the live-stream on 27th November. All recorded sessions and videos are still available, and they are well accepted (more than 5,000 additional views of videos, tendency increasing).

Events like this are important to raise the awareness about career paths in MINT disciplines on the one hand and to create a better connection between research and society on the other. Especially, the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 has shown the relevance of research and public gained insights more intensively than ever. According to the event evaluation forms, ""Life is Science"" has been an ideal possibility for home-schooling during the November lock-down in Austria and was a highly valuable complement to the lessons of natural sciences."
"""Life is Science"" was organized the first time. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the style of the event had to be completely restructured and was finally organized as a virtual event.

WP1: The work for the awareness campaign aimed at increasing the awareness about the event.
- online tools: website, social media channels, eNewsletter, eCalendars of partners, blogs, videos for preview
- offline tools: flyer, poster, phone calls for recruiting external exhibitors, info-kit for schools, interaction with local authorities (Bildungsdirektion, SFG)
The activities of the awareness campaign had an outreach of 200,000 potential visitors.

WP2: The activities during the night have been adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic and national restrictions:
- live-stream program from 8:00 to 21:00 (gain information): 13 lectures by top researchers all over Austria (38% female) + science show with the famous science busters, pre-recorded explanatory videos
- DIY experiments - video tutorials (hands-on): 7 videos (""catalase - the fastest enzyme of the world"", ""Producing bio-plastics at home"", ""Lactose intolerance"", ""Why do gummy bears have problems with kiwis?"", ""Yeast - an important helper of biotechnology"", ""Colour game with plants"")
- Games, quizzes, surveys (share your opinion/knowledge): Open vaccine challenge, Battle for cattle, Life is Science Quiz (with tombola), Bioeconomy now, Knowledge about viruses in society

WP3: The impact assessment was prepared during the event organization (design of registration and evaluation forms, quizzes, surveys) and evaluated after the event.
a) Impact assessment of awareness campaign (outreach numbers, quantitative and qualitative evaluation of 700 registered participants)
RESULTS: 53% age between 15 and 18 years, 68% participated in the frame of school (home work or school exercise) and, therefore, have been informed about the event by their teacher
b) Impact assessment of activities during the night (number of visitors and users, quantitative and qualitative evaluation of the event, level of interaction, evaluation of surveys and quizzes)
RESULTS: the response of the evaluation form was rather low (12%), but the rating was very good. The majority of visitors prefered a passive participation in the event (no discussion, no questions) and they had no technical problems.

WP4: The management duties included the communication with the external advisory board, with ""service suppliers"" for the project and the budget management.

The findings of ""Life is Science"" are going to be exploited in the frame of a new proposal for a second ""Life is Science 2"" edition, which is envisaged to be held as an on-site event. Furthermore, lessons-learnt are going to be included in the application for several green deal calls (10-3, 6-1, 4-1), where acib is responsible for dissemination & communication work packages and where also citizen science approaches are going to be included. A presentation about the project ""Life is Science"" at EUSEA conference was not possible during project lifetime because of the travel restrictions and lock-down in terms of COVID-19. A post-report about the event is going to be published in the local newspapers ""Grazetta"" and ""Kurier""."
"Together with numerous other NIGHT events in 2020, ""Life is Science"" was conducted as a completely virtual open event the first time. Previous events have been held on-site, which is still clearly preferred in order to allow a high degree of interaction with public. However, the COVID-19 pandemic forced us to do it virtually and this opened up a new action field and new possibilities that are highly attractive to schools. Teachers highly appreciate the additional content, which they consider appropriate for their own school lessons: they still use the recorded sessions of the ""Life is Science"" live-stream for discussions in school classes and they encourage pupils to try out the hands-on experiments or games on the ""Life is science"" website. Therefore, the main result of ""Life is Science"" is a compact package of workshops, games and lectures about the topics ""health"", ""food technology"" and ""waste management and renewable resources"" addressing school classes, mainly at secondary level (15 - 18 years). In contrast to on-site events, all contents are available much longer, thus, the outreach is bigger and the impact lasts longer. The extend at which ""Life is Science"" addressed the expected impacts is summarized in Table 1 of Deliverable 3.1.

The main bullet points are listed here:
- Program design adapted to relevant topics in order to fetch people where they are standing (increased awareness of importance of research, more favorable general attitude, understanding of key benefits of research).
- Selection of various role models for pre-recorded videos and moderators (reduction of stereotypes)
- virtual career corner, short CVs and job profiles of speakers, announced possibilities for internships (increase of people taking up research careers)
- EU corner and filter function of EU funded projects (better understanding of European Union among public)"
Behind the scenes: moderator
Impressions from our Live show 4
Behind the scenes: technical support
Impressions from our Live show 3
Practicing session the day before 27th Nov
Impressions from our Live show 2
Opening ceremony 2
Promotional flyer
Opening ceremony
Behind the scenes: view to our pop-up studio
Pop-up studio preparations
Impressions from our Live show
Video wall at central public transport point in Graz
Behind the scenes: technical service